Hip-hop dancers compete in Paris; language, sex.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Battle: Freestyle is a 2022 Norwegian drama about a group of Norwegian hip-hop dancers who go to Paris to compete in a prestigious dance contest. Energetic and athletic dancers perform incredible physical feats and work out interpersonal problems. People dance seductively. A woman bares her breasts. Adults kiss and drink alcohol. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," "pr--k," "damn," and "hell." A White person makes thoughtless remarks indicating that she assumes people of color live in bad neighborhoods and commit crimes.
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What's the Story?
BATTLE: FREESTYLE focuses on a hip-hop dance crew from Norway that wins a spot in a prestigious French competition. The mother of Amalie (Lisa Teige) abandoned her to become a ballet mistress in Paris and now Amalie wants to visit her during the trip. But Amalie doesn't share this with her close-knit crew, among them her boyfriend Mikael (Fabian Svegaard Tapia). Her visits with her mom cause her to skip rehearsals, which angers her friends. The mom, Vivian (Ellen Dorrit Petersen), is imperious and aloof, polite but openly disdainful of hip-hop dance. Although she's been estranged for years, suddenly she wants to direct her daughter's career and arranges a last-minute audition for the girl at her school. If Amalie succeeds, she can earn a college degree and seemingly win her mother's affection and respect. But Mom is unreliable and her promises begin to look empty and Amalie comes to recognize who the important people in her life really are and reconciles with her crew.
Is It Any Good?
Battle: Freestyle is a routine hip-hop dance competition movie featuring agile and athletic dancers. It's not significantly different from any number of other titles in this growing genre. And it doesn't differ much from similar movies about ballet competitions, barrel racing competitions, bull-riding competitions, or gymnastics competitions. Most dwell on interpersonal conflicts among team members and rivalries. In this case, an estranged mom is thrown in, forcing a girl to choose between her desire to regain a lost parent, her desire to be true to herself, and her need to be loyal to her friends. The Norwegian dialogue might add a little interest and the Paris backdrop makes it pretty. But as a Norwegian transplant to Paris lets us know, bias against people of color exists everywhere, from Norway to Paris.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how this movie differs from other movies about dance and competitions. Is it different enough from others to be interesting? Why or why not?
A character struggles with competing feelings about biological family and the friends she considers closer than family. What do you think about the choices she makes?
How does the movie demonstrate the virality of American pop culture?
- On DVD or streaming: April 1, 2022
- Cast: Lisa Teige, Fabian Svegaard Tapia, Ellen Dorrit Petersen
- Director: Ingvild Soderlind
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Drama
- Run time: 88 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 17, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
Clichéd dance movie with some fun moves.
Step Up 2 the Streets
Electrifying dance elevates an almost boring film.
Stomp the Yard
Well-intentioned film steps up the melodrama.
For kids who love to dance
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